North Korean broker and accomplices arrested in Onsong
A North Korean broker helping North Koreans attempting to defect, along with North Korean border guards who received bribes, were arrested at the end of August, North Korean sources have reported.
“A male broker in his late 40s who had been helping North Koreans defect for the past ten years was arrested in Onsong, North Hamgyong Province,” said a North Pyongan Province-based source.
“A female defector who was arrested in China in late August was taken back to Sinuiju and she told authorities the name of broker, leading to his arrest.”
He added, “The broker bribed the Ministry of State Security (MSS) agents who arrested defectors he had helped if they were forcibly repatriated back to North Hamgyong Province. He had helped this particular female defector several times in the past. But this time she was forcibly repatriated back to Sinuiju (in North Pyongan Province) so he couldn’t help her.”
The North Korean authorities also arrested the border guards who were bribed by the broker along with an MSS agent who had turned a blind eye to what had been happening. The developments indicate that an entire defection network has been taken down.
The broker faces up to 10 years in a correctional labor facility, in accordance with North Korean criminal law.
North Korea’s criminal code states that those who commit “crimes involving the concealment of a crime against the state and people” (Section 71) are subject to up to four years in a correctional labor facility, while those who have committed “crimes involving the failure to report a criminal act against the state or people” (Section 72) are subject to up to three years in a correctional labor facility. Meanwhile, those who commit “the crime of [willfully] neglecting [to report] a crime against the state” are subject to up to three years. ......